The Islanders have hit a rough patch in their bid to make it consecutive play-off appearances in the Hero Indian Super League. Jorge Costa’s Mumbai City FC have had a torrid start to the new year after two defeats in as many games, and have slipped out of the top four spots in the table. While it may be premature to hit the panic button, the Islanders have a tough ahead test to turn things around.
Mumbai City FC return home tomorrow and the champions are in town. The Islanders will be in action against an in-form Bengaluru FC at the Mumbai Football Arena at 7.30pm.
In what was the worst game during his tenure in his opinion, Jorge Costa’s side went down 2-0 to Odisha FC less than a week ago at the Kalinga Stadium, casting a shadow of doubt over a potential spot in the playoffs. Goals from Xisco Hernandez and Aridane Santana propped the Hero ISL newcomers into fourth place, leapfrogging the Islanders into a playoff spot.
After their win in Hyderabad, Odisha FC have opened up a five-point gap over Jorge Costa’s side albeit having played a game more. The scenario significantly elevates the importance of tomorrow’s matchup with the Islanders risking having to play catch up as the league stage nears the business end.
Jorge Costa’s side were the happier of the two camps when the two sides met earlier in Bengaluru after snatching a win in the dying seconds at the Kanteerava and with a positive result tomorrow, the Islanders could become the first side ever to do a double over Carles Cuadrat’s Bengaluru FC. Milestone or not, the Islanders could certainly do with the three points on offer tomorrow.
Form Guide (Last Five Games)
Mumbai City FC: W-W-W-L-L
Bengaluru FC: L-W-L-W-W
Jorge Costa will be back on the touchline tomorrow after serving his one-game suspension. Following suit will be Diego Carlos who also returns to the fold after his one-game suspension. Serge Kevyn will be out of the reckoning after picking up his fourth yellow in Odisha.
Carles Cuadrat reported a clean bill of health for tomorrow’s visitors. January signing Deshorn Brown was on the flight to Mumbai and will be involved in the squad for the first time since the Jamaican’s arrival.
Who Said What:
Jorge Costa: We had some problems in the start of the season. We aren't focusing on one area against Bengaluru FC. We've to be alert and not make mistakes tomorrow.
Sourav Das: There's a lot of competition to get into the playing 11. I'm doing well to fight for my spot in the team and so is everyone else in the squad. It’s a healthy atmosphere to be in.
Pratik Chaudhari: We need to focus on playing together not losing our concentration. There are plenty of wrongs we need to right after the game in Odisha and we’re working towards it.
Where to watch it
The game will kick off at 7.30pm IST and will be broadcast on the Star Sports Network, Hotstar and Jio TV for all viewers in India. For our global fans, you can follow all the action LIVE on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC.
12 Jan: ATK 0-1 Kerala Blasters FC (Narzary 70’)
15 Jan: Hyderabad FC 1-2 Odisha FC (Marcelinho 1’ Aridane 15’, 45’P)
Fixtures coming up:
16 Jan: Chennaiyin FC vs NorthEast United FC (Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai 7.30pm)
17 Jan: Mumbai City FC vs Bengaluru FC (Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai 7.30pm)
18 Jan: ATK vs FC Goa (VYBK, Kolkata 7.30pm)